Russians give more than is generally believed, according to Russia Giving 2014.

The research finds that over 40 per cent of the population (33 million people) have given money to NGOs in the last 12 months, and only a fifth have never been involved in any charitable activities. But Russian giving tends to be spontaneous rather than regular and thought-out, with donations made to a very limited range of causes.

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  • The average annual amount donated is almost 5,000 RUB (US$125).
  • The urban population of Russia alone gives about 160 billion RUB (almost US$4 billion) annually, which is comparable with contributions made by the state, corporate donors and high net worth individuals put together.
  • Donations made by Russians are in most cases infrequent and spontaneous.
  • About half of the donors made their donations less often than once every six months, and for 82 per cent the decision to donate was spontaneous. In other words, while a large number of people give money to NGOs, only a small proportion give as part of a thought-out process to achieve specific results.

The report will hopefully become a market intelligence tool for Russia’s growing professional fundraising community as it reveals previously unknown trends and provides data on giving patterns and volumes.

The most obvious challenge for fundraising professionals and public charities is to overcome mistrust, to build donors’ confidence in a wider range of causes, and to cultivate regular giving. This could be done, for instance, by spreading the practice of payroll giving and recurrent credit card donations, which are still a rarity in Russia.

Moving beyond cash donations will also help to grow the size of single donations, which are currently pretty small, as is typical of donations given by text message or to donation boxes.


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